21 July 2018
J.K. Simmons (from left), Patricia Arquette, Julianne Moore and Eddie Redmayne pose with their Oscars. Photo: Reuters
J.K. Simmons (from left), Patricia Arquette, Julianne Moore and Eddie Redmayne pose with their Oscars. Photo: Reuters

Hollywood satire Birdman grabs Oscar for best picture

The dark comedy Birdman, which holds up a mirror to Hollywood and its struggling actors, has received the film industry’s highest recognition, the Academy Award for best picture, Reuters reported.

Director Alejandro Inarritu’s story of a former superhero actor attempting an improbable comeback on Broadway won four Oscars, including for best director — the second consecutive one to go to a Mexican filmmaker.

Inarritu thanked the star-studded audience Sunday for seeing his “crazy film”.

Eddie Redmayne won the award for best actor with his painstaking portrayal of physicist Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything.

Five-time nominee Julianne Moore won the Oscar for best actress for her portrayal in Still Alice of a woman suffering from early-onset Alzheimer’s.

Each of the eight best picture nominees went home with at least one award, but it was a disappointing night for Boyhood, Richard Linklater’s unprecedented endeavor to depict the simple story of a boy growing up over 12 years, all with the same actors.

Nominated for six Oscars, it won one, which went to Patricia Arquette, who played a struggling single mother, for best supporting actress.

Wes Anderson’s colorful caper, The Grand Budapest Hotel, proved popular among the 6,100 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences who vote for the Oscars, winning four awards, including for best original score, out of the nine for which it was nominated.

Whiplash, the independent film about an aspiring jazz drummer and his monstrous mentor, played by veteran J.K. Simmons, won three Oscars, including for best supporting actor, which Simmons took.

It was a night in which the controversy over the lack of diversity among this year’s nominees was front and center.

First-time host Neil Patrick Harris opened the telecast with a quip: “Tonight we honor Hollywood’s best and whitest — I mean brightest.”

The Oscar for best documentary went to Citizenfour, director Laura Poitras’ feature about her interviews in Hong Kong with US National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden, who revealed documents about secret mass surveillance programs worldwide.

“The subject of Citizenfour, Edward Snowden, could not be here for some treason,” Harris joked.

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